2016 in numbers

Highest temperature: 120 °C

At least that is what the (possibly broken) thermometer in the wood-fired sauna near Tallinn read when I was taken there and beaten with a viht by PhD students Annika and Agata. After a quick plunge into a hole in the ice-covered Viitna Pikkjärv and a discussion of the lake’s palaeoecological record, I repaid the vihtlema, concentrating on the soles of their feet.


The viht and the steam

Longest hiatus between submission and publication: 8 years

The diatom stratigraphy of Gårdsfjärden is now published.

New R packages learnt: three and a half

I started the year having used ggplot2only once, under duress. I now use it for almost all my figures. I have never used dplyr or tidyr and thought the pipe syntax (%;gt;%) looked rather odd. I’m now a convert, finding that dplyr makes it easy to write understandable code. I also learnt to use plyr a bit. I find it very useful for some jobs, but wish I wouldn’t get such unfathomable bugs when I accidentally load dplyr and plyr at the same time.

Coldest temperature: -13 °C

It seemed like a good idea to go skiing before breakfast at the Palaeo-Resilience workshop at Finse. Beautiful but cold before the sun came up. I should have worn a third pair of gloves.

You can get your chance to think about ecosystem resilience while watching the northern lights as you cool down from a sauna this March at the workshop “Measuring Components of Resilience in Long-term Ecological Datasets“. Alas, no viht.


Dawn at Finse

Most giraffes:  ~15

In 2015, 15 Rothschild’s giraffes were translocated to Lake Mburo from other Ugandan National Parks in the hope that this red-listed species would re-establish and help to control the acacia  that is converting the savannah into woodland.

I went to Uganda for Perpetra Akite’s, who was my PhD student, PhD defence. Managed to get away from Kampala for a couple of days to Lake Mburo National Park where I saw most, perhaps all of the herd. And lots of zebra.


Steffi & co

Number of blog posts on solar variability: 0

I found a few papers reporting links between palaeoecological data and solar variability that I wanted to discuss, but never found the time. I’ll try to cover more this year as I expect to write fewer posts about Polish lakes.

Number of email from researchgate.com: 431

At least that is how many are in my email trash folder. It seems like many more than that.

Most bison: 0

There are a lot of trees in Białowieża Forest, and it only takes one to hide a bison. Fortunately, I’m going back at the end of January to work on a 52-year phenological data-set (understorey plants, not bison), and the bison should be more visible when they come out of the forest to graze.


About richard telford

Ecologist with interests in quantitative methods and palaeoenvironments
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